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18 August 2012- Newcastle vs Tottenham

Final Score- Tottenham:1/Newcastle:2

I will note a few things before I start talking about the game. One is that i am doing this from my phone to get at least a small writeup as soon as possible. If you get to this by the time I revise it with my computer, then the actual first is that my TV cable provider is on the fritz, so if anyone has a online solution, whether it costs or not please let me know. I saw most of the game, however the game cut out fairly often so I may have missed something or two.

Now on to the game. To me, this was the game of the week. 4th vs 5th place, and everyone wanted to see how the sacked manager of last year will step into the big shoes of Harry Redknapp. I have some personal quarrels with him, however, I do believe that he can do well with Tottenham as long as no one let’s him deviate from the Tottenham game style too much.
On the other hand, I really like how good Newcastle has become. They have many good players who most people haven’t heard of, but all of them able to put work out onto the field. They put up a big fight last year, and I really hope that they do the same again this year. That being said, let’s actually talk about the game.

The game was very balanced. Neither team has control for more than a while and they both attacked with strength. Tottenham in the first half looked very strong but failed to put one in the back of the next. Strong attacks that were lead with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon with great speed. Newcastle also has some opportunities but were not deadly until the second half, where they got a lead on Tottenham early in the first half. Jermain Defoe would answer later in the after a couple possessions of not so threatening football, forcing the ball past the keeper after a very nice header + save. However, the last goal of the match would be conceded as a penalty, as Ben Arfa got tripped splitting two defenders. He would take and complete the penalty kick as well.

The game was a very basic season game. The ball came, it went, and goals were scored. I feel like to really see how AVB will command his team, we will need to see him in the middle of the season. Newcastle does look strong, however the game play they showed today will not put them in top four like they want. Obviously, this is game one, therefore I will keep the talk short of such things. Regardless, it was a fun game to watch.

Tomorrow I will be able to watch Wigan vs Chelsea, and then the Manchester games on Monday. I am aware that they aren’t both on Monday but that’s all the time I have for them. After that, the other games I watch will come out during the week, including the Arsenal vs Sunderland game.

Stay tuned!

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Back in Blue

Very honestly, I might have picked the absolute worst time to start blogging. With the Euro 2012 finished and all the hype disappearing in the blink of an eye, I thought that the Olympics and the news of trades would keep me afloat. Alas, it did not, as Chelsea is a team that is kinda prone to want to buy everyone, therefore leading to way too much news about the trading subject. However, the BPL is starting up in the 18th once again, and as much as I wish I could say that I would be able to blog about every game I want to, the reality is I won’t be able to. The reality is I probably will not get to watch every game I want to. But nonetheless, I hope you people who read my blog will understand and know that the posts i do write will be out of complete love for the sport and sharing the knowledge I have of it. Good luck too all the BPL teams, but mostly Chelsea ;). Should be another exciting year.

Euro 2012 – Netherlands vs Portugal

Well its’ half time! I decided to watch this game over the Germany vs Denmark game for a couple reasons, mainly because of the huge controversy over Holland failing to get a point in this stage of the tournament. Still, some of my thoughts for the teams.

Netherlands- The defense looks okay at times, but this is not enough to hold down a Ronaldo that is back on his feet. The Dutch were hoping they weren’t going to have to worry about him, but this is definitely not the case today. Without the defensive help of Mark van Bommel, Holland are going to have to pick the defense up by at least twice the amount to ensure that no looks are found on the goal. Ronaldo has shown that he will stop at nothing to put in another one in, and with the history of the previous games, we know that other players can definitely do the same. Once this happens, Netherlands needs to work on building up to get a good feel on touching the ball and get into the rhythm again, something they haven’t done since the 28′ minute after Ronaldo’s goal. Also, they have decided to go with a very aggresively-based 4-2-3-1, so looking for counter-attacks is essential and might decide the match.

Portugal- After a shaky first part of the first half, Portugal looked great coming off the feel at the half. Ronaldo’s goal has given him great confidence, and hopefully he can take that on to the next half to score that second goal he is dying for. I usually refrain from saying such things, but Nani is playing out of his mind. Beautiful touches, experienced-based movement, and destroying defense is a small amount of things that he has done in this half. Using him will be key to gaining another goal. Portugal needs to feed the corners more balls and let Ronaldo and Nani work the magic that they have been using so far. Other than that, making sure that the defense don’t get lazy and the defensive wingers help the offense like they did on Ronaldo’s goal will help the pressure of Portugal, making Holland subside into their half for at least a great amount of time.

Final Score- Netherlands:1/Portugal:2

11′-van der Vaart, 28′-Ronaldo, 74′-Ronaldo

What an exciting game. If you asked me exactly nine days ago who would move on in Group B, I would of referred to the FIFA ranked 4th place team and predicted them to take the group. But after this crazy three games, Netherlands, for the first time in history, lost multiple games in a row and exited a tournament without any points. Although I’m disappointed to see one of the pre-tournament favorites to go, everything that happened in this game was not out of the ordinary. Holland came out guns roaring and ready to put themselves in a contending position for second place in the group, with a remarkable goal by Rafael van der Vaart in the 11′ minutes. My first impressions were to think that the Dutch could make the comeback of the year, but sadly fell short and a few moments later, Portugal up’ed the tempo and put Ronaldo in the pilot seat, leading the Portuguese offense.

After that, the Netherlands offense was not to be seen again, giving up a goal in the 28′ minute to a beautiful combination of Joao Pereira and Cristiano Ronaldo, who silenced all doubters for sure with that beautiful +40 yarder at Stekelenburg. I bring up this shot because I believe that this was a major turning point in the mental minds of Holland. That shot showed that Ronaldo’s goal was not a fluke, that he was truly there to put points up and take his team to the next stage of the tournament. That shot shut up everyone who said Messi’s name in the Denmark game, and further more, let his team know that this was not going to be easy for Holland. The lethality of that man is unparalleled in this tournament, and this is something that they will have to breed on in the upcoming games.

Holland were not there for the rest of the match, as I predicted. As history showed in the games before, the goal against Holland usually spelled their demise for the rest of the game. The second goal, which was expertly created by the old Manchester United teammates, killed the Oranjes off, and everyone on the pitch knew that this was the end for Holland. Holland’s tournament showing should not stop at the lack of wins, as maybe the chemistry is something that also needs to be improved on. The counter-argument is that this is basically the team that took runner up back in 2010, but my rebuttal to that would be that this is not the same team, obviously.

My words of advice to the Portugal team is to use this momentum against the Czech. They are a strong team who showed that the Russia game was just a misstep, and with the monster Petr Cech behind them, goals will not come easy. Headers near the goal will be tough because of Cech’s height and the tight defense that the Czech play will make it hard for the Portuguese to puncture the line like they did against Holland. With the beaming confidence that Portugal acquired in this game, I suspect to see them in the semi-finals in this tournament.

 

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Euro 2012 – Netherlands vs Germany

Final Score- Germany:2/Netherlands:1

24′, 37′- Mario Gomez, 73′-Robin Van Persie

Netherlands came out guns a blazin’ aiming to get on top of their cup rivals, but a few critical misses from Van Persie and the poor defense from Holland created the opposite, with two put in the back of the net for Germany by Mario Gomez. He was assisted both times by Bastian Schweinsteiger, who played a great game and was the keystone for this German offense. Now that Germany is in the best spot and Holland in the worst, here are some key tips to note from the game and what they need to take a win in the next game.

Germany- Although both goals came in the first half, Mario Gomez showed what it meant to play for a world-class club. Scoring two goals he is tied with Dzagoev for the most goals in the tournament, albeit the difference being Gomez has all the goals for Germany. This worries me quite a lot, as it cannot be said that the others didn’t have looks. Yes, they weren’t as clear as the ones Schweinsteiger created for Gomez, but they can’t fall into a state of dependency. Regardless, Schweinsteiger did he job flawlessly today, playing a major part in the win for Germany today .Neuer had a couple of beautiful saves to keep the Germans in it, and something tells me we will be seeing more of that in this tournament from him.   I would say that a goal for Germany is to attempt to get someone else one in the back of the net before the knockout rounds for confidence’s sake. Knowing that you have multiple strikers who are scoring to work with is a good feeling as a team. Other than that, we saw the scoring side of Denmark, so Germany will  need to step up the defense, especially against tougher sides in the knockout rounds.

Netherlands- A sad game to watch if you are Dutch fan. Robin Van Persie did not have his scoring boots on despite putting a late one in as consolation. He had many opportunities earlier in the game, something that would of made the game entirely if he raised the score before Germany did. But he is not the only one of fault as Van Bommel has a terrible game through and through, along with an unconvincing Robben, who was quiet for most of the game. Sneijder had a pretty good game, as he is the most consistent player by far on this orange side. Stekelenburg is still making some weird decisions, something I am surprised that hasn’t hurt them yet in the form of a goal.  I think that Tim Krul is a better keeper, but I’m not the coach, obviously. But one thing that is obvious that the coach can’t see  is Van Persie’s track record for his national team, something that many people criticized me for bringing up before the start of the tournament because of his recent year with Arsenal. Huntulaar has had a much better qualifying show and I felt like he deserved a chance to start over Van Persie after his performance against the Danish. Regardless, after all the pain and misery, the orange team is not completely out of the tournament yet will need an amazing show from their stars to even have an chance at staying in this tournament. Portugal proved that they do not need Ronaldo to score, and this is a scary thing to bring up to a defense where Heitinga was completely out of place for most of the game. Scoring is a problem, but they need to make sure that the defense problem is solved first.

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